As of Friday, May 3rd, Billings West High’s softball team sits at 12-4 on the season. The team is led by one of the best Class AA pitchers in the state. She goes by the name of Kinzee Koch and she is leading in Eastern AA strikeouts with 70 total.
Kinzee Koch said, “It’s exciting. I’ve never really felt like I’ve been the person to lead in anything. I’ve just been okay with that. But, it’s kind of fun to see my name up there.”
Koch explained that she does not really care about the stats or being a leader in strikeouts. At the same time, as a senior who has signed to play college softball, Koch believes the strikeout number is a good motivator. “I think it motivates me to know that I’m going to the next level and I need to pitch that much better in order to succeed at the next level,” said Koch. “So, I think that’s part of the reason I’ve upped my game this year.”
While the strikeout number is gradually growing, the pitcher still has her off days. Those are the times she needs her teammates the most.
“All of the girls on the field are always constantly talking to me and helping me out and I think that’s what really helps me through it,” Koch explained. “Plus, just having good coaches behind me that believe in me, and know that one bad game doesn’t mean that I’m not a good pitcher, it just means that I was having a bad day.”
Shea Dolan, a fellow West High senior and outfielder for the bears added, “Having a close-knit team and having good chemistry, we all kind of bring her up and same with our other pitcher too, so I think it’s all really good chemistry and it works well.”
According to Dolan, when Koch has a great day or a not-so-great day, the pitcher’s leadership still shines through for her teammates. “I think she knows how to really lead a team in between innings. She always has good, encouraging words for us no matter what the situation is, if she’s not having the best day pitching or not, I think she knows how to bring us up and always has a great attitude.”
On the other hand, Koch gives all of the credit to her team. She said, “Without them, we would be nothing. Seriously, it’s because of them that we win.”
Koch will be headed to Dawson Community College next year where she will play softball and basketball.
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